Catchup: In Case You Missed IT

Catch Up (kăch’ŭp‘) n.

  1. An approach or strategy intended to overcome a disadvantage or lead.
  2. An increase intended to bring an amount or rate up to a standard.

Gearing back up from being gone for 10 days. It is a painful process to dig out from the hundreds of emails, thousands of twitters, and the barrage of phone messages. If I have been delayed in getting back to – here is my global apology.

In my quick scan from my news filters, I Isaw several cool stories that I thought were worth reposting with some very brief commentary:

  • Paul Krugman’s Open Letter to Obama. Think whatever you like about Krugman but he sure gets some ink. In his Open Letter  to Obama he suggests the new president make Health Care his second biggest priority (after the economy). He makes some interesting points about how the investment in health care should happen and how to avoid the pitfalls of 1993 Health Reform experience.
  • Interview by one of the authors of the recent IOM report on Health Care IT Effectiveness (and Part II). Rather interesting commentary from one of the political and thought leaders, William Stead, from Vanderbilt. He had some pertinent things to say, including the wise adoption of health care IT and the new buzzword phrase regarding the “cognitive assistance” that IT could provide for physicians within their natural workflow. The essential conclusion was that current forms of health care IT are rudimentary and are worthy of our best computer scientist, engineers, clinicians, and researchers to overcome with systems that actually help providers deliver better care.
  • Individual Health Insurance Plan for Diabetes – This is something that I am passionate about. Giving people with real medical problems an opportunity to improve their financial status through making healthy choices. Diabetic patients are expensive, but they can be less expensive, and their “risk” can be quantified as it becomes more standardized. In fact, I would argue that a diabetic in good control should become a good insurance “risk” (albeit somewhat more expensive) particularly if they are compliant. This news item actually has much larger ramifications, particularly when you consider what large employers like Safeway are doing with differential premiums (I say BRAVO – differential premiums are a normal part of life in every other financial instrument we have).
  • MyMedLab mentioned in Forbes Website – I serve as an advisor to the company so I am always glad to see them mentioned in prominent articles featuring health care innovation. I still argue that MyMedLab is a near perfect “disruptive innovation” via its ability to leverage the power of the internet to connect patients to labs to physicians to data in a near seamless fashion.
  • Community Clinics being much more highly utilized as the economy continues to sour more and more people are seeking care at the community clinic level. I have previously written my perspective regarding the community clinics as the overburdened levee from which the coming primary care disaster will finally break free. Now that the water is starting to rise against these outdated, understaffed, and limited resource facilities disaster is sure to follow.

I am sure I missed a ton of other news, but these caught my eye in my quick run through from last week.

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